We are able to provide the contraceptive pill to patients aged 18 and under. Patients aged over 18 will need a prescription form their GP.
The combined pill
The combined pill is usually referred to as ‘the pill’. It contains two hormones – oestrogen and progestogen. These are similar to the natural hormones women produce in their ovaries.
The main way the pill works is to stop the ovaries from releasing an egg each month (ovulation). It also:
If the pill is taken according to instructions, it is over 99% effective. This means that less than one woman in 100 will get pregnant in a year.
The progestogen-only pill (POP) contains a progestogen hormone which is similar to the natural progesterone women produce in their ovaries.
POPs contain different types of progestogens. POPs containing desogestrel will be named specifically where relevant on this page. If you are not sure what type of progestogen is in your POP, check the patient information leaflet inside your pack or ask your doctor or nurse. The POP works in a number of ways:
If taken according to instructions, the POP is over 99% effective. This means that less than one woman in 100 will get pregnant in a year.